November 30, 2008

Nominations Announced for the Satellite Awards!

And I am very puzzled....
-Motion Picture, Drama
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Revolutionary Road
Frozen River
Thomas McCarthy - The Visitor
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
-Actress In A Motion Picture, Drama
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Kristin Scott Thomas - I’ve Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - The Reader
-Actor In A Motion Picture, Drama
Mickey Rourke -The Wrestler
Mark Ruffalo - What Doesn’t Kill You
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella -Frost/Nixon
Leonardo Dicaprio - Revolutionary Road
Sean Penn - Milk
-Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Tropic Thunder
In Bruges
-Actress In A Motion Picture, Comedy Or Musical
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky
Meryl Streep - Mamma Mia!
Lisa Kudrow - Kabluey
Kat Dennings - Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Catherine Deneuve - A Christmas Tale
Debra Messing - Nothing Like the Holidays
-Actor In A Motion Picture, Comedy Or Musical
Ricky Gervais - Ghost Town
Sam Rockwell - Choke
Josh Brolin - W.
Michael Cera - Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Brendan Gleeson - In Bruges
Mark Ruffalo - The Brothers Bloom
-Actress In A Supporting Role
Rosemarie DeWitt - Rachel Getting Married
Penelope Cruz - Elegy
Anjelica Huston - Choke
Sophie Okonedo - The Secret Life of Bees
Emma Thompson - Brideshead Revisited
Viola Davis - Doubt
Beyoncé Knowles - Cadillac Records
-Actor In A Supporting Role
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
Robert Downey, Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Rade Sherbedgia - Fugitive Pieces
James Franco - Milk
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
-Motion Picture, Foreign Language Film
Let the Right One In - Sweden
The Class - France
Sangre de mi Sangre - Argentina
Reprise - Norway
Gomorrah - Italy
Caramel - Lebanon / France
-Motion Picture, Animated Or Mixed Media
The Tale of Despereaux
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
Waltz With Bashir
The Sky Crawlers
-Motion Picture, Documentary
Man on Wire
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Encounters at the End of the World
Anita O’Day - The Life of a Jazz Singer
Waltz With Bashir
-Screenplay, Original
Philip Roth - Elegy
Thomas McCarthy -The Visitor
Eric Roth, Robin Swicord - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Courtney Hunt - Frozen River
Baz Luhrmann, Stuart Beattie, Ronald Harwood, Richard Flanagan - Australia
Dustin Lance Black - Milk
-Screenplay, Adapted
John Patrick Shanley - Doubt
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
David Hare - The Reader
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire
Justin Haythe - Revolutionary Road
-Original Score
David Arnold - Quantum of Solace
Thomas Newman - WALL-E
John Powell - Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
A.R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire
David Hirschfelder - Australia
Danny Elfman - Milk
-Original Song
”Another Way to Die”/Jack White - Quantum of Solace
“If the World”/Guns N’ Roses - Body of Lies
“Down to Earth”/Peter Gabriel - WALL-E
“By the Boab Tree”/Angela Little et al. - Australia
“Jaiho”/ A.R. Rahman and Gulzar - Slumdog Millionaire
“The Wrestler”/Bruce Springsteen - The Wrestler
Jess Hall - Brideshead Revisited
Gyula Pados - The Duchess
Mandy Walker - Australia
Tim Orr - Snow Angels
Tom Stern - Changeling
Claudio Miranda - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
-Visual Effects
Quantum of Solace
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
The Day the Earth Stood Still
-Film Editing
Quantum of Solace
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
-Sound (Mixing & Editing)
Quantum of Solace
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
The Day the Earth Stood Still
-Art Direction & Production Design
Brideshead Revisited
The Duchess Paramount Vantage
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
City of Ember
Revolutionary Road
-Costume Design
The Duchess
Brideshead Revisited
Sex And The City
City of Ember
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

-TOP 10 FILMS OF 2008
-Overall, some rather surprising omissions, but some interesting inclusions, so it's nothing too special...this doesn't mean much in the long run...the NBR this week will be a helping hand, though if any trends from here continue, we'll certainly take note....thoughts?

November 28, 2008

The National Board of Review is Coming Soon!

Over at Awards Daily, they have a really cool contest for predicting the NBR (, but with it coming up next week, and essentially precursor season opening, it figures appropriate to ask: Which films do you think are going to show up in the NBR top 10?

Initial thoughts on 'Milk'

I haven't seem 'Slumdog' yet, so its tough to say that Milk is the unequivocal frontrunner. However, it will certainly get nominated for best pic. Milk is nothing short of brilliant. From directing to acting, Milk is phenomenal. In terms of acting, I know Brolin and Penn will get a lot of attention for their performances, but I would love for Emile Hirsch to get some love. He was spectacular. I don't want to reveal too much about the movie, but if you get a chance to see it, do so! It's really relevant these days, and will give an adequate historical context to the gay rights (and human rights) movement. Also, I recommend watching the documentary, The Times of Harvey. I can't stress how much more you will appreciate the film if you see some of the actual footage of Harvey Milk's life. You really see that Penn went the extra mile to play Harvey to pefection. So, if you can't catch the movie anytime soon, watch the doc to get ready for the film.

November 27, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You Trailer

One of the films I mentioned in my annual "Slipping Under The Radar" article ( now gets an enticing trailer:

-Could it be a contender in the acting categories?

Happy Turkey Day!

From all of us at the site, enjoy!

November 26, 2008

Academy Idol Video Coming Soon!

Hi all...the video for the Adapted category will be up shortly, but for now you can still vote, so please do so!

Duplicity Trailer

-Definitely has potential, though looks to be somewhat lighter than Michael Clayton...thoughts?

Anne Thompson On Men?

Occasionally, I check around the web to see what other critics are saying about the Oscar race. Sometimes their comments strike me as bizarre but I tend to let it slide. However, Anne Thompson's characterization of the movie taste of dudes has forced my hand. She writes, "Men would rather die than go to a romantic comedy--unless it stars Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn or Adam Sandler. Judd Apatow figured out that making rom-coms for both sexes was the way to go". First, this is a complete (and false) generalization. Adam Sandler isn't popular anymore. He sucks. The same is applicable to Vince Vaughn. He plays the same character in all of his movies.

Also, we don't see Seth Rogen/Apatow films because of the romance part. We go see them primarily because of the crude juvenile humor. The romance parts of Knocked Up accentuate the comedy. If it was just romance for the sake of romance, I'm pretty confident most dudes would've hated it.

She also writes that, "they [movie studios] like to make movies for men because they're more predictable and reliable and less finicky and demanding than women."

I really just take issue with the "more predictable" part. Women aren't that complicated. If you make a romance comedy that's pretty sappy, then most women will go see it. You turn Sex in the City into a movie, then plenty of women will go see it. I don't see how this makes women less predictable. I like to believe that most movie goers (women and men) are fairly predictable. You can probably tell what they are interested in within the first minutes of speaking to them. For instance, if a girl likes america's next top model or the hills, then it's highly unlikely that she will citizen kane, and will go see there will be blood. There's nothing wrong with this of course. But, I don't think its right to characterize men as more predictable movie watchers. Most people are fairly predictable.

He's Just Not That Into You Poster

Certainly doesn't lack in terms of star power...

November 25, 2008

New in Town Trailer

-Doesn't look very promising, but could come off with a charming "Fargo"-ish vibe...

'The Reader' Poster


Even Will Smith Can't Save This DVD Release Week!

Yes, it's that bad. So bad in fact that I had to go to an unusal source for my PICK OF THE WEEK...a stand up comedy special. It's:
George Carlin: It's Bad For Ya
While certainly not the best that Carlin has ever done, it is definitely very entertaining and consider this a further tribute to the late funnyman and great thinker of our time.
-Unfortunately, nothing else out this week is any good. Will Smith is alright in Hancock, but the story is terrible and it feels immensely neutered. A good cast is wasted in the holiday film Fred Claus, the animated film Space Chimps is only entertaining if you are in the single digits age-wise, and the less said about Eddie Murphy's Meet Dave, the better.
-To make up for it, my Vintage pick this week is a double feature of movie goodness. It's a P.T. Anderson back to back of Boogie Nights and Magnolia. It's a huge time drain, but if you have the hole in your day, it's well worth the time. Two of my favorite films of all time, they still hold up today and are supremely well made and entertaining.
-What will you guys be watching? (I myself will be trying to see as many prestige pics as possible, ie Milk, Australia, etc)

MILK Opening (limited) Tomorrow!

I intend to see it tomorrow, early. If you are interested, I know it's playing in AMC Loews Village 7 (NYC). The tickets are only 6 dollars for matinee.

November 24, 2008

Poster for Viggo's "Good"

Courtesy of Awards Daily

Academy Idol: Top 10 Original DIRECTORS

Jason Reitman's Follow-Up to Juno is Taking Flight!

Variety has the story on the cast piecing itself together:
Vera Farmiga is taking to the skies.
The "Departed" thesp will star opposite George Clooney in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air" for Paramount Pictures and Montecito.
Story centers on a human resources exec whose only joy in life comes from the prospect of notching his millionth frequent-flyer mile, a goal he pursues with zeal as the rest of his life falls apart because he is constantly on the road.
Farmiga will play a businesswoman who develops a romantic relationship with Clooney's character through meetings in airports and hotels around the country.
Reitman adapted the screenplay from Walter Kirn's novel of the same name. Project had been developed at DreamWorks but became a Par-led project after DreamWorks exited the Melrose studio in September. "Up in the Air" is one of the dozens of DreamWorks-developed pics being overseen at Par by former DreamWorks prexy of production Adam Goodman.
Shooting starts in late February in St. Louis, Miami and Las Vegas.
Farmiga's upcoming films include Niki Caro's "The Vintner's Luck" and the thriller "Orphan" for Joel Silver's Dark Castle and Warner Bros.
-Looking forward to this?

November 23, 2008

A New Trailer for Benjamin Button!

Hot on the heels of what sounds to me to be like a dynamite press screening for the film:
-By far the most romantic trailer yet, this could be something that Oscar absolutely falls in love with...thoughts? (Thanks to AwardsDaily for the scoop)

November 22, 2008

A SAG Strike Coming Soon?

Not good news at all, as this portion of the article in Variety states:
In a move toward Hollywood's second strike in a year, the Screen Actors Guild will seek a strike authorization from its 120,000 members -- prompting an angry response from the congloms.
SAG made the announcement early Saturday morning after federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez abandoned efforts to bring the two sides together, following their first face-to-face meeting in four months. Neither side budged significantly during two lengthy sessions Thursday and Friday with negotiators spending much of the time reiterating previous positions.
"Our leadership was optimistic that federal mediation would help to move our negotiations forward, but despite the Guild’s extraordinary efforts to reach agreement, the mediation was adjourned shortly before 1:00 a.m. today," SAG said. "Management continues to insist on terms we cannot responsibly accept on behalf of our members."
The Alliance of Motion Pictures blasted back at SAG late Saturday morning by asserting the guild's out of touch with the industry's concerns and noting that it's the only Hollywood union that hasn't closed a master contract deal this year.
"Now, SAG is bizarrely asking its members to bail out the failed negotiating strategy with a strike vote - at a time of historic economic crisis," the AMPTP said. "The tone deafness of SAG is stunning."
SAG national exec director Doug Allen told Daily Variety that it's the companies are out of step. "It's ironic that they would use the word 'tone deaf' when they've been tone deaf when it comes to listening to the concerns of working actors," he added.
No timetable's been set for the authorization vote but SAG could be on strike on primetime and features as early as the Jan. 11 Golden Globes. SAG would need at leaset three weeks to conduct the strike authorization vote but it said Saturday it would launch a "full-scale education campaign" in support of a "yes" vote.
For SAG to strike, the authorization must receive support from 75% of members who vote on the referendum. SAG's strategy of holding out for a better deal received backing of 87% of slightly over 10,000 members voting in a September postcard poll -- which the AMPTP derided as meaningless -- but it's uncertain if SAG members would offer the same level of support amid a worsening economy.
SAG last struck in 2000, when it stayed out for six months against the ad industry.
-Hopefully they can sort this out....

Not Exactly Surprising News...

Hope you're not tired of romantic vampires, since there's going to be more films from the Twilight series being produced, according to this piece in Variety:
Fresh from a massive opening day for "Twilight," Summit Entertainment has officially greenlit a "New Moon" sequel.
Summit made the widely expected announcement Saturday morning. "Twilight" generated first-day grosses of $35.7 million from 3,419 playdates on Friday -- including $7 million from Thursday midnight shows.
The vampire thriller's a ready-made franchise for Summit with four books in Stephenie Meyer’s series, which have sold more than 17 million copies worldwide.
"New Moon" is the second title in the series and is centered on Edward Cullen leaving Bella Swan in order to keep her safe from other vampires. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart play the leads in the film.
"I don't think any other author has had a more positive experience with the makers of her movie adaptation than I have had with Summit Entertainment," Meyer said in a statement.
"Twilight" had been expected to open in the $50 million to $60 million range, although it looks likely to end up above that.
-I'm personally more of a fan of HBO's True Blood, but I have the Twilight book on my bed right now, and it seems I should give it a shot. What do you guys think of the books/movie?

What's Left for Best Picture?

Sasha Stone today posted a piece that is a very interesting read, basically summing up the state of the Best Pic race and saying it's down to the following films:
Slumdog Millionaire
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Revolutionary Road
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Rachel Getting Married
Gran Torino
The Wrestler
-The entire article is worth reading, but this is what she sees it being left to now. My question to you guys you agree?

Adventureland Trailer

The new film from Greg Mottola, who first came to our attention with the indie road trip flick "The Daytrippers" and most recently made "Superbad":
-Looks like it could be fun, maybe a hybrid of Clerks, Waiting, and Superbad...on a personal note, I worked at Astroland in Coney Island for part of a summer, so I feel like I might relate to this quite heavily, for better or worse...

Warner Brothers Pushing Some Scores

In Contention already posted this, but it's worth noting alone for the chance to listen to the tremendous score for The Dark Knight. WB's Music FYC page ( has it in full, along with the pretty good score for Eastwood's upcoming Gran Torino.
-Opinions on the Gran Torino score? (We all know the score for TDK is amazing, but it's out of contention, as we all know)

November 21, 2008

More Bourne Flicks To Come?

Apparently so, if this article in Variety is correct:
Universal Pictures has made an overall deal with the estate of "The Bourne Identity" author Robert Ludlum that gives the studio exclusive rights to the Jason Bourne character and first look at other Ludlum novels.
The deal with Ludlum Entertainment paves the way for more installments in the Bourne saga, which was originally envisioned as a three-picture series but has become Universal's answer to James Bond.
After the first three films grossed a total of more than $1 billion worldwide, U signed Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass for a fourth film that George Nolfi is penning. Produced by Frank Marshall and Ludlum Entertainment chairman-CEO Jeffrey Weiner, the film will be readied for a summer 2010 release.
Weiner will take offices on the Universal lot as part of the deal and hire development executives as the company takes an active hand in developing projects, including some not based on books by Ludlum. Weiner was the author's accountant for 16 years before being tapped by Ludlum to be estate executor and to run the holding company that produces his movies and publishes his books and videogames.
"Universal has done such an excellent job with the first three films that they deserve the opportunity to keep Jason Bourne at the studio forever," Weiner told Daily Variety.
The deal was put together by U co-presidents of production Jimmy Horowitz and Donna Langley, who said that the gritty action style has rubbed off on other action fare.
The deal also gives Universal an inside track on other Ludlum books that would be developed with Ludlum Entertainment. That is especially valuable for U, whose chairman Marc Shmuger and co-chairman David Linde have made franchises a priority.
Universal tried but didn't win "The Matarese Circle" when that Ludlum Cold War thriller was shopped last April, with Denzel Washington attached along with "Wanted" scribes Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. MGM and Relativity won the auction; they've set David Cronenberg to direct a film expected to begin production next year. Ludlum titles routinely turn into seven-figure packages, including the $4 million Paramount paid for "The Chancellor Manuscript" in 2005, with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star and produce with Red Wagon.
Universal is developing another Ludlum book, "The Sigma Protocol," with Strike Entertainment partners Marc Abraham and Eric Newman. Summit Entertainment has "The Osterman Weekend," with Simon Kinberg set to write and direct.
There are plenty more where those came from.
"There is a deep Ludlum library. Over 25 of his novels have never been exploited in movies," Weiner said. He recalled that Ludlum watched a couple of his titles get turned into movies during the early 1980s, and he was underwhelmed by the result. The author died while "The Bourne Identity" was in production. Now, the estate has contractual approval not only on screenplays but also on characters and even actors, Weiner said.
"The goal is to pick the right people to be in business with, so you don't have to wield these things like a club," Weiner said. "If you get to that point, you're in business with the wrong people."
ICM and Henry Morrison rep Ludlum Entertainment.
-The Bourne flicks are good stuff, so if the quality stays the same, I'm all in favor of more bout all of you?

Clint Eastwood, Duke Basketball, and the Oscars

Since UCLA choked in the 2K Sports Classic, there will be a vintage championship match between the great Duke Blue Devils and the infamous scandal ridden time out calling Michigan Wolverines. Now, this isn't the 1992 NCAA championship game, where we won by 20. But, as a sports fan and movie fan, I wanted to see if there were any possible connections between us beating Michigan in a championship game and the Oscars. So, the last time we destroyed Michigan in a championship game, Clint Eastwood completely dominated the Oscars with Uniforgiven. He was nominated for best Director (w) and Actor. Unforgiven was nominated for a total of nine and went on to win four. Perhaps if Duke wins tomorrow, we might see Clint return to form with one of his two films. He probably has a better chance with Gran Torino, since he is directing and starring in the film (and Changeling half way sucks). Given this completely accidental, merely correlated, and slightly illogical connection, we can reasonably predict that Clint Eastwood will be rooting for Duke tomorrow night. So, if I were you, I would also root for Duke or Dirty Harry will get ya.

Official 'Curious Case' Poster

According to Brad Brevet (Rope of Silicon), the images above are the official posters for the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. As I mentioned before, I think the posters are great. I appreciate the simpleness (yet subtlety) of them. Besides, Cate Blanchett is gorgeous.

November 20, 2008

The Oscar Schedule

As Ryan Adams over at Awards Daily noted, there is a slight change in the schedule, which is as follows:

Monday, December 1, 2008: Official Screen Credits forms due
Friday, December 26, 2008: Nominations ballots mailed
Monday, January 12, 2009: Nominations polls close 5 p.m. Pacific Time
Thursday, January 22, 2009: Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT, Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, January 28, 2009: Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 2, 2009: Nominees Luncheon (nominees luncheon 2008 photos)
Saturday, February 7, 2009: Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 17, 2009: Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 22, 2009: 81st Annual Academy Awards presentation
-As Ryan notes, Barack Obama's inauguration pushes the nominations announcement from January 20th to the 22nd....two more days for us to fret!

The Wrestler Trailer!


Quick notes:

1. Springsteen's song is phenomenal (fyc best song?).
2. Marisa Tomei is hot.
3. Ron "The Truth" Killings (K Kwik) is in the trailer (1:43) Irrelevant I know.
4. The 'Ram' reminds me of this guy and this guy. I really miss wrestling.

Academy Idol: Top 24 Results

2012 Teaser Trailer

The next disaster movie from Roland Emmerich:

-Two things to note....1) Emmerich seems to love tidal waves, and 2)somehow this got a pretty good cast (John Cusack for one example) so maybe this will be better than it looks....

Coraline Trailer

-Looks kinda interesting...

Moon Poster

Something very cool looking about this poster...could this be a film in the vein of Solaris or Sunshine?

November 19, 2008

Does Oldboy Have A Writer?

Apparently so, or at least so says this article in The Hollywood Reporter:
In a potential high-profile star-writer reunion, "I Am Legend" co-scribe Mark Protosevich is in early talks to pen the remake of "Old Boy" that boxoffice king and "Legend" star Will Smith is developing with director Steven Spielberg.DreamWorks secured the remake rights from Mandate Pictures, which also is staying involved in the project. Although the studio was meeting with several high-profile writers to do the adaptation, Smith invited Protosevich to meet with Spielberg on the project.DreamWorks declined comment. The rights deal with Mandate is not complete.Mandate acquired the 2003 Korean film co-written and directed by Park Chan-wook from Universal, which picked up the rights in 2004 with Vertigo Entertainment ("The Eye," "The Grudge"). The original film, which like much edgy Asian cinema includes some disturbing material, detailed a man's mysterious kidnapping, 15-year imprisonment and feverish quest for revenge upon being released.A slew of Asian remakes have found their way into American theaters and onto development slates in the past few years. Screenwriter William Monahan won the best adapted screenplay Oscar in 2007 for translating the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs" into the 2006 best picture winner "The Departed," at Warner Bros. And Brad Ingelsby is adapting the 2000 Korean gangster movie "Die Bad," which "Quantum of Solace" director Marc Forster is negotiating to helm for Universal.DreamWorks has engaged in a flurry of activity since its departure from Paramount two months ago. At that time, Spielberg and co-chairman and CEO Stacey Snider took 17 projects with them that DreamWorks had developed at Paramount, which retains an option to co-finance and co-distribute any resulting production."Old Boy" would be DreamWorks' first acquisition since the move, though Mandate might retain some ownership role in the film. Spielberg has been working on directing the first of a planned series of "Tintin" films with fellow producer Peter Jackson.The CAA-repped Protosevich also has written "Poseidon" and "The Cell," and he worked on "Thor" for Marvel Studios.
-A good choice or no?

Another Push (In Reverse) for The Soloist and Perhaps a Release Date for The Lovely Bones

Variety's story says as much:
DreamWorks and Paramount have agreed to release fact-based Jamie Foxx-Robert Downey Jr. drama "The Soloist" on April 24 instead of March 13.
DreamWorks was caught off guard last month when Par pushed back the release of "The Soloist" from this year to March 13 at the 11th hour.
The Joe Wright-directed pic was originally to have opened Nov. 21.
In the April 24 slot, "Soloist" will open one week before the official start of the summer box office, which is primetime for moviegoing.
Based on a series of articles by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, film tells the story of a homeless schizophrenic musician's dream to play at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
After moving "The Soloist," Par relocated Paul Rudd comedy "I Love You, Man" from Jan. 16 to March 20, according to Rentrak. Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" is still tentatively skedded to bow on March 13, but the DreamWorks/Par film is ultimately expected to open later in the year.
-The Soloist still seems like it could be an Oscar film to me, so we'll see if this ultimately helps it out or not, and on The Lovely Bones front, it's just good to hear some news about the upcoming Peter Jackson drama...thoughts?

Ebert, Deep Vote, and Revolutionary Road Screening

Ryan Adams (Awards Daily) linked this gem.

I'm not sure if this is legit, but it's worth reading since Ebert is the man. Also, if you are in the NYC area, you should get tickets to a Revolutionary Road screening and q/a session with Sam Mendes.

The Opening Film at Sundance is Revealed!

Curtosy of Variety:
The 25th Sundance Film Festival will open January 15 with Adam Elliot's clay-animated feature "Mary and Max," voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette.
Pic follows a 20-year, pen-pal friendship between an 8-year-old girl in Melbourne and an obese, 42-year-old man in New York.
"This portrait of a global friendship between two marvelously dysfunctional people is an exceptionally moving, funny and thought-provoking work," said Geoffrey Gilmore, Director, Sundance Film Festival. ""Mary and Max" is the first film of its kind to open the Festival."
Australian animator Adam Elliot screened his short "Harvie Krumpet" at the 2004 Sundance, which went on to win the Oscar. Melanie Combs, Elliot's long-time producer, will return with him to Park City.
"By Opening Night it will have been five years since Melanie and I began working on the film," said Elliot. "It has been a whale of a pregnancy and we are so thrilled that the birth will be in Sundance."
"Mary and Max" was financed by Screen Australia, Adirondack Pictures, and Film Victoria. Icon is selling all rights.
The Sundance Film Festival unspools January 15-25 in Park City, Utah. The entire program will be revealed December 3 and 4.
-Interesting choice...hopefully it will be a good festival....

A look at "Where The Wild Things Are"

Spike Jonze is never a boring filmmaker, and this was one of my favorite books as a child, so perhaps the reported early issues with the first cut of the flick will give way to a groundbreaking new children's movie....time will tell, but what do you guys thing?

The Fall of MGM and Tom Cruise? But, mainly Tom Cruise.

It seems like MGM has a lot riding on Cruise, Singer, and Valkyrie. Brook Barnes (NY Times) writes that, "“Valkyrie” has turned into a test not only of Mr. Cruise’s career durability, but of MGM’s determination to be taken seriously as a producer and distributor of the kind of risky event films that define a major studio." Brad Brevet (Rope of Silicon) adds that:

Based on everything that has happened the article ends up pointing at the December 26 release of Valkyrie as a major test for the studio as well as its star, Tom Cruise. Considering the film centers on a group of men who set out to assassinate Hitler with Cruise playing a German officer, the release date, subject matter and casting has all come into question. The film has bounced all around the release schedule, has had to endure reshoots and despite some fantastic looking trailers still undergoes scrutiny based on the lack of German accents, especially from Cruise who plays the films figure-head Claus von Stauffenberg.

I'm not expecting much out of the film. The trailers look great. I don't mind the lack of accents, but I think Cruise will hurt the film more than anything. Hopefully, the story and direction will be enough to salvage this project, but I'm not expecting it to resuscitate Cruise's once bright career.

This movie would have been an Oscar juggernaut 17 years ago.

November 18, 2008

Nothing but the Trailer for Nothing But The Truth!


A Huge Haul on DVD This Week!

Yes indeed my friends, there is plenty on DVD this week worth checking out. In fact, there's just about something for everyone, and we lead off today, as always, with my PICK OF THE WEEK, which actually should appeal to just about everyone. It's:
One of my favorite films of the year, this is the high point for Pixar and just a heartwarming film in general. This tale of a robot finding his place in the universe is something that if you haven't seen yet, you owe to yourself to see.
-Also out this week, we have a few other films definitely worth picking up. There's Tropic Thunder, which was one of the funnier films of the year, and features an Oscar worthy turn by Robert Downey Jr. as the most method actor in history. We also have Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson, which is a very informative and actually entertaining documentary about the legendary writer. Also on the documentary front is Werner Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World, which is pretty cool (no pun intended). Finally we have Garden Party, a strange drama about a group of young and sexually confused Los Angelenos. It's not for everyone, but it's a nice character study.
-A few films of less quality are out as well, but both are merely mediocre, and not horrible in any way. There's the disappointingly average diamond heist flick Priceless as well as the thoroughly mediocre sequel Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Neither are bad, but neither are anything special.
-My Vintage pick this week is, in honor of the onslaught of cold weather finally hitting my area (Brooklyn, New York for home, but school at Stony Brook University in Long Island) the criminally underseen Ryan Gosling film The Slaughter Rule. He plays a kid dealing with pressure from everywhere and everyone in his life, and the bitter small town life is only matched by the bitter weather. Gosling is great here and it's worth a look for anyone that likes his work.
-What will you guys be watching?

Academy Idol: Top 12 Adapted

Top Ten Reasons NOT to Make 'Batman 3'

I know we don't need anymore Batman talk, but I am in full support for ending the Batman franchise at the 'Dark Knight'. I think we need to start this campaign, and luckily David Frank offers some compelling reasons.

Full Trailer for Star Trek!

November 17, 2008

Is This Our First Glimpse At Johnny Depp as A Certain Hatter of Some Sort?

If this turns out to be a real image from Tim Burton's upcoming interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, things are going to be very interesting (and weird).....what do you guys think of this?

The Short List for Best Documentary!

Here they are:
“At the Death House Door”
“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)”
“Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”
“Encounters at the End of the World”
“The Garden”
“Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts”
“In a Dream”
“Made in America”
“Man on Wire”
“Pray the Devil Back to Hell”
“Standard Operating Procedure”
“They Killed Sister Dorothy”
“Trouble the Water”
-Some solid features here, though I would have found room for Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Religulous, and Bigger, Stronger, Faster...

Academy Idol Closes at Midnight

Get your votes in, its looking a little tight at this point.
Adapted Screenplay Top 12 post tomorrow with voting open until Thursday Midnight ET.

Results video on Friday!!!

The Dark Knight Begins The Crusade for Best Picture!

With this FYC Ad:
will it happen?

Some New Projects on the Horizon for a Well Known Scribe!

Variety has the dirt on some new gigs for the screenwriter of "The Usual Suspects", among other flicks:
"Valkyrie" scribe Christopher McQuarrie has signed on to write and produce a pair of United Artists projects: "The Monster of Florence" and "The Champions."
On "Monster," McQuarrie is teaming with producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen ("American Beauty," "Milk"). Together they optioned "Monster," based on a New York Times bestseller (Daily Variety, Sept. 5).
Story chronicles a true series of events from author Douglas Preston's life. Shortly after moving his family to Italy in 2000, Preston learned that an olive grove on their property had been the scene of a brutal murder. Teaming with Italian journalist Mario Spezi, Preston began investigating the crime, which was part of a series of eight double homicides between 1968-85. Story also spawned a 1985 Italian-language docudrama of the same name.
McQuarrie sees the project as an opportunity to tell the story of a writer, not a serial killer.
It's a "surreal account of two writers opening a proverbial Pandora's box with their research," the "Usual Suspects" scribe said. "They witness first-hand how the misguided good intentions of others allow evil to flourish, eventually becoming a part of the story themselves."
McQuarrie has also boarded "The Champions" with fellow writer-producer Guillermo del Toro. Based on the 1968-69 British TV series, "The Champions" follows the adventures of a team of secret government agents who are rescued from a Himalayan plane crash by an advanced civilization and given superhuman abilities.
McQuarrie said the source material was too strong and the opportunity to work with Del Toro too great to pass up.
"Champions" is a "great premise with fascinating potential; I wanted to be involved from the moment Guillermo and I first discussed it," he added.
Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner are also producing.
-McQuarrie is capable of some great stuff, so this could turn into some nice films...

November 16, 2008

The Official Poster for 'The Wrestler'

Even more haunting. This is one of the better posters I've seen this year. But, it looks like Rourke will get all of the love, which might overshadow the movie. We'll see.

November 14, 2008

Marc Forster Signs Up For A Zombie War!

Variety has the story:
Paramount has set "Quantum of Solace" director Marc Forster to helm "World War Z," based on the Max Brooks bestselling novel about a worldwide infestation of flesh-eating zombies.
"Changeling" scribe J. Michael Straczynski is writing the screenplay, and Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing.
Brooks -- the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft -- wrote a detailed tale in which a researcher for the U.N. Postwar Commission interviews survivors from countries all over the world, 10 years after the crisis, to gather a first-person post-mortem on a war that obliterated every country on the map.
Forster is unlikely to return for another James Bond installment.
As for "WWZ," "The genre always fascinated me, and when they pitched it to me, it reminded me of the paranoid conspiracy films of the '70s like 'All the President's Men,' " Forster told Daily Variety.
Par bought the book for Plan B in 2006, and it is one of several high-profile projects for the company headed by Pitt, who next stars for the studio in the David Fincher-directed "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
Plan B is also prepping an adaptation of the novel "Eat, Pray, Love," with Ryan Murphy directing and Julia Roberts expected to star; the Fincher-directed projects "The Killer" and "Black Hole"; and a film about drug addiction based on two nonfiction tales: "Beautiful Boy" and "Tweak."
Forster is repped by CAA and Management 360.
-This could end up being a fantastic project...thoughts?

More Backwards Button!

A Very Interesting Project Developing...

Variety lets us in:
Clint Eastwood is in talks to direct the supernatural thriller "Hereafter" for DreamWorks. Company, led by principals Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, picked up the spec penned by "Frost/Nixon" scribe Peter Morgan in March when it was still a part of Paramount Pictures. DreamWorks held onto the project as part of its separation pact with the Melrose studio and has been wooing Eastwood to board the project for months. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but it is described as in the vein of "The Sixth Sense." Kathleen Kennedy is producing. Eastwood, who has two films in awards season contention this year -- "The Changeling" and "Gran Torino" -- previously worked with Spielberg on "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima," both of which Spielberg produced.
-Eastwood, Spielberg, and Morgan? Sounds good to bout you guys?
More than one option